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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    December 20, 2011
    5:00 - 7:59pm EST  

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of journalistic objectivity. [laughter] i'd also like to welcome our c-spab and public radio office audiences. it's featured on the weekly podcast available on itunes and follow us on twitter. after our guest speaker concludes, there's q q&a, and you can bring your questions to the head table here. it's time to introduce the guest, and a journalist presence at the table does not imply or signify an endorsement of the speaker. [laughter] please stand up briefly as your name is announced givenning from your right. steven ellis, principal with sailor company public relations. kevin, head the broadcast committee. paula is senior white house cor sphopt with cch.
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bob cardin with cardin communications, member of the speakers committee. this is chairman rockefeller member of eta, guest of the speaker. rachel ray, television reviewer for the daily telegraph in london. nice to have you here. across the podium and then to melissa with news hook media, speakers committee chair who helped organize today's event, and i'll dare say if you give me a moment, this month of october here at the national press club may bring some of the best speakers in our history all due to her work, and i thank you very much for that, melissa. chris is washington bureau chief with cbs news. pall -- paula is guest of our speaker.
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courteney mccay is a graduate of the documentary institute at george washington university and new npc member. welcome. britney fisher, correspondence with meet the press. robert yune able to get away today as political research directer f cnn. robert, nice to have you here. please give them a warm round of applause. [applause] thank you. you know that signature style when you see it, the slow pan or zoom across an archived photo of a soldier, for example, the narration of a comfortable voice, perhaps with the sounds of harmonicas in the back against the backdrop of a historic american tale. it is literally called the ken burns effect. the iconic film technique made
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famous in the documentaries like the civil war, baseball, jazz, and national parks among others, and the guest is its creator, known for leveraging american history and compelling television programming as no one else can. the baltimore sun wrote he is not only the greatest documentary of the day, but the most influential filmmaker period and that includes steven spielberg. joining the latest series that began last night on pbs, and i hope many of you were able to see it. like all of his work, this three-part series examines the rise and fall of the 18th amendment of the u.s. constitution, the series entitled "prohibition." our guest has a history, called history around a table in which all americans can have a civil conversation, so with the release of this series, the
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veteran filmmaker is calling for a new national discourse on civility and democracy. that is particularly relevant as prohibition airs in the midst of this campaign season when the absence of discussion is itself causing distress. with the record of documentary work, his films won 12 emmy awards and two academy award nominations. among the numerous accolades, also the recipient of arts and sciences lifetime achievement award. this brooklyn born filmmaker catapulted into the film scene back in 1981 with a project exploring the world's first steel wire suspension bridge. that film, "brooklyn bridge," but it was his broadcast series in 1990 to be the highest rated film series in american public television history, the civil war of course. he won awards, two emmys and two
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grammys. this is the 22nd documentary for the broadcasting system marking a 20 year collaboration with pbs. in the interest of full disclosure, they may rival that with the national press club because he stood here no fewer than six times to discuss his films. for the members who may have missed sunday night, the press club will screen episode one in the special speak easy evening upstairs in the reliable source restaurant. again, please give a warm welcome to mr. ken burns. [applause] >> my goodness, what a generous and kind introduction. i thought the press was to be balanced on this, but you jumped into a speak easy night i see so maybe in that spirit, let's
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raise our glasses and toast to unintended consequences. [laughter] i would be remiss if i did not thank the very, very important people that bring me, compel me to this table and to this podium, and that includes our corporate underwriter, bank of america, who has been with us for five years and has been among the most enlittlenned underwriters that we've ever had in more than 30 years of making films on public television. we also enjoy the support of the author binding davis foundation, the park foundation, and a new group called the better angels society. more on that later. to attract new donors to public broadcasting, and in this phase, the montrone family. we have long time support in this film from the national
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endowment for the humanities. they were instrumental in us finishing the film on the brooklyn bridge way back in the 70s, and they were instrumental ensuring we were able to finish this film, but two other sponsors deserve special note because without their long time support, i literally would not be standing here. the first is the public broadcasting service itself led by my friend paula right now, who made a long term commitment to our films, so not only this, but others in store and others dating back more than 21 years, but the corporation for public broadcasting takes the cake. they have been supporting us since the very, very first film, and i think they have been involved in all but one of the films that we worked on since we started making film, and i'm so very grateful to the corporation, to public
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broadcasting, and current ceo, pat harrison, for their unwaiverring support. during the last 30 # years, i've enjoyed one the most important african-american distinguished affiliates in the system which is weta, the local washington, d.c. affiliate for television. if you are not familiar with how public television works, it's a bottom up model in which we depend on local stations to produce the programming, which is sent upstream and then distributed by pbs. it is not monolithic central network that decide what they show and when they are going to show it, and for those last 30 years, i've enjoyed not only the partnership with, but the friendship of sharon rockefeller, and it's great to once again share this table with her, and she, like pat and paula, are dear friends as
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well. we couldn't leave home www.them. [laughter] we make a cliche that this is a collaborative making, and it is. it is important today particularly to acknowledge what i call the negative space of creation, and i do not mean that in any way. a sculptor brings a block of stone to the studio and works on it, and what we get to see is the finished product. what she understands in her heart, in her gut is all that is lying on the floor of the studio, the negative space of creation. that's true in almost any creative process, and certainly in film making where quite often we might have 40 or 50 times as much material of film that we collected that actually gets into the actual film. it's the shooting ratio. it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. this is like documentary film
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making. [laughter] i realize given the subject of the film today i might have used kentucky's model which would be a process of distillation in which i believe the ratio is also about the same. two people are not here, definitely not the negative space of the creation, but the positive space of it, and that is my co-directer and co-producer who has been in every stage of this production in every way, the equal in every decision we made, in all aspects of the production, and i wish she was here to be able to share in your attention this afternoon. i'd also like to acknowledge our co-producer sarah, and you found most of the rare and never before scene footage in many cases that helped to populate this program on prodecision, and so i think not dispensing with those, but acknowledging those very real supporters, let me try
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to begin and tell you first of all how honored i am to be back here at the national press club, and how honored and delighted i am to be talking about the special messages of our past, our common heritage continually directs our way. let us listen. let us listen. too often as a culture, we've ignored this historical noise becoming in the process blissfully ignore rant of the power those past lives have over this moment and our vast unknown future. i'm interested in the power of history, and i'm interested in its many varied voices, not the voices the of the old top down version of the past that convinces us american history is just the story of great men, and not the voices that recently entered the studies, voices that suggest american history is just a catalog of white european crimes. i'm interested in listening to
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the voices of a true, honest, complicated past that is unafraid of controversy and tragedy, but equally drawn to those stories and moments that suggest an abiding faith in the human spirit and particularly the unique role that's remarkable but sometimes also dysfunctional, more on that later, the republic seems to play in the positive progress of mankind that quite simply is my creed, montra, the lens of which i try to see and share our histories for more than 30 years on public broadcasting. you know, i have to admit that in a way we made the same film over and over again. each film asks one deceptively simple question. who are we? who are we? who are those strange and complicated people who like to call themselves americans? what does an investigation of the past tell us about not only where we have been, but where we are and where we might be going? while each film tries to answer
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the question, it can actually never answer it fully. of course, one hopes with each skeesive project you have -- successive project you have the possibility of deepening the question. who are we? who are we? american history is 5 loud, ruckus loud noises that combined make the sweetest kind of music i know, and we try to listen as much as we can in this music in putting together the films we have made. it is a kind of emotional archaeology we are attempting listening to the ghosts and echoes of an -- a past that points us towards the future horizons that will comprise our destiny as individuals as well as communities and a country, and that is what i am interested in. this new project is no different. i appeared here 21 years ago for
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the first time for the civil war, and i stood at this podium telling you that if i told you i had been working on a film project about the imperial presidency, about new weapons of mass destruction at a level unseen before, about unscrupulous military contractors who sold shoty goods to the government, about a growing feminist movement, you would say, my goodness, you abandoned history working on the present moment, but those were just a handful of the themes that compelled our story of the history of the civil war. i come back to you again, redundantly, to begin to tell you that though we have in our minds sort of safe and familiar images of prohibition that now have unfortunately been distilled down into our children's textbooks to a paragraph or two, and they seem to be model t's careening around
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the streets with machine guns blasting, the story of the popular and familiargan steers, or the -- gangsters or short hair, short dress, braless women dancing on a table of the speak easy of the roaring 20s, we will have ignored the central themes that for us brought us to the project and seemed to reverberate today. if you know your bible, in eccelesiastes 1:9 says what has been done will be done again. there is nothing new under the sun. ladies and gentlemen, there's nothing new under the sun. let's see if it is familiar. this is the story of political campaign, wedge issue campaigns
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that have horrible unintended consequences. the story of demonization of recent immigrant groups to the united states. this is the story of unfunded congressional mandates, of the loss of civil discourse, of smear campaigns during the presidential election cycles, a group of people who feel sincerely they lost control of the country and want desperately to get it back and will do anything they can to take it back. this is the story of the role of government. what is its precise and correct relationship to its citizens? this is the story of warrant list wiretaps. this is the story of 5 growing and developing feminist movement. does it sound familiar? these are just a handful of the themes that animated our interest in the prohibition story, and we have made a three
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part nearly six hour series that began broadcasting last night. the first episode is called a nation of drunkards detailing the century of activity in the united states that led up to the passage of the 18th amendment, the temperance movement, the very understandable movement in a country awash in alcohol where we drank five or six or seven thymes the amount of -- times the amount of alcohol we now consume and the problem of drunkenness as they called it then, not alcoholism, was a huge social problem addressed first by the clergy and then by a new group of people feeling their first agency in this new republic, women, who did not, of course, have the right to vote, and had absolutely no rights in the beginning of the 19th century, but through the support of abolition and temperance began to find the voice and achieve the agency, began to act outside the house in powerful
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and interesting ways. that movement ebbed and flowed. it was, of course, hijacked by those who thought not just temperance but total abstinence would be the best thing and a new modern single issue was born that blotted out the efforts of the women's christian temperance unions and other periodic crusades sponsored by women and was taken over by the most single effective lobbying organization in the history of the united states, something, a group i had never heard of going into this project called the anti-saloon league with the leader, wayne bueller, so powerful outside the office of the united states, and i had never heard of him. it was said he could make the senate of the united states sit up and beg, and he did, and they
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did. [laughter] it is an interesting and fascinating story as the women's christian temperance union was sort of shoved aside, and the anti-saloon league with the single issue campaign only wanted one goal, the elimination of alcohol working tirelessly to do it, and they were willing to compromise on nothing, and yet willing to make alliances with anybody if it would advance their goal. when myron t. herrick, pop popular, but moderate governor of ohio said that he thought local towns should have a voice in what they were doing, the anti-saloon league got him unelected and the democratic challenger who was thought to have in chance in the race was elected in his place. it is a fascinating story which seems ultimately modern in every respect. they were turning out tons and tons and tons of anti-liquor
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propaganda every month from their plant in westerville, ohio, the headquarters, a town just north of columbus. it is a fascinating story, but what is more fascinating is how a majority of americans came to embrace the notion that we needed an amendment to the constitution that actually limited human freedom when every other amendment to the constitution has actually expanded human freedom. that has been the american model. we have moved forward into our uncertain future by extending to the citizens more rights than they had before. this is the only amendment that actually curtailed those rights, and by the turn of the 20 #th century, and in the first two decades of that century, we found a huge, strange collection of people who were for prohibition in some way, shape, or form. progressives were for it as well as the very conservative
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anti-saloon league. democrats as well as republicans. prohibition came to be seen as a way to solve all of society's ills that we could just swallow this pill, this magic bullet, this panacea which would change everything that every family would be improved, that the slums would be emptied. men would walk upright. women would smile. children would laugh, and hell would forever be for rent if the amendment went through. industrialists like john d. rockefeller and carnegie was for it because they thought alcohol weakened the output of their working men. the iww, the international workers of the world for it too. they saw alcohol as a capitalist plot to destroy the working man and joined the odd band wagon.
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booker t. washington was for it and the advancement of a black development and black middle class saw the obstacle of alcoholism as central or as a huge enough problem that they needed to join that bandwagon, but then the cue ku klux klan was for it too, anti-jew, anti-black, and anti-catholic. they feared a black man with a bottle in his hand. by the end of the century, two things made it a reality. the first was the 16th amendment. now, the anti-saloon league shrewdly alied -- allied themselves, many say cynically, with interest groups
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interested in the redistribution of wealth in the united states because there was at that time as we argue and debate at this time today, a huge disperty between the haves and have-notes. they squeezed the middle class, poor were rising, rich getting richer, and progressive movements wanted to redistribute the wealth in the united states. they thought the best way to do this was pass an amendment to the constitution that would initiate an income tax. strangely, the anti-saloon league joined with them because they knew that by supporting this amendment, they would ensure that the liquor industry, the brewers and distillers, would no longer have the relationship they had with uncle sam because up until that point, fully, 70% of all internal revenues for the federal government came from taxing beer and spirits, and despite local
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prohibition movements, the beer and liquor industries were confident that they would never be disconnected from their person to them, the income tax, and they found themselves in deep trouble. the second event is the first world war, and 245, of course, made in this country all germans, third or second largest immigrant group depending on how you are counting, the enemy, that you could in essence equate beer with treason, and they did. the government and anti-saloon league almost hand-in-hand were able to convince the people of the threat that came not just throughout, but within the united states, and we stoned doxons to death, german-american citizen was killed for no other crime than speaking german over
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a backyard fence to a neighbor, and we renamed sour crawt liberty cabbage. sound familiar? it only took a few more votes, and we passed by huge overwhelming majorities in the house and senate, a prohibition amendment. the dries wanted a prohibition amendment because we had come to see since the civil war that the constitution was much more than a handbook, a manual for making this country run. it was a place in which we could fulfill our utopian dreams, this notion of a city on a hill, a more perfect union as the preamble suggests, was an unbelievable windmill to tilt the hat, and we had begun to initiate amendments which we thought would do good, and the prohibition amendment fit into that, and so it passed overwhelmingly by the house and the senate, and it moved on to
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the states to ratify it which they did in record time. the wets had shrewdly, they thought, given the dries eight years or seven years to do it, and they did it in 13 months, the ratification. the wets were confident that no amendment could work its way through all states and pass with the majorities required in all states and it became law, but it did in 1919, and it would go into effect exactly a year later in january of 1920. i've just given you a short view of what you missed last night. [laughter] tonight is an episode called -- [laughter] a nation of scoff laws, and tomorrow night, the third episode detailing the second half of the nearly 14-year rule of prohibition is called a nation of hypocrites. may i first say they are titles
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we did not impose on the material from the comfort of our present position as amateur historians and documentary filmmakers, but what came out of anxieties and descriptions of that period, a nation of drunkards, a nation of scoff laws, a nation of hypocrites. what resinated out of every moment of working on this film was the sense of how little we knew about this period. i'm a filmmaker who spent a lot of time in the 1920s in our jazz series and other series we are planning to work on, and i had never known the dimensions of this. i spent a lot of time in the 19th century, and i knew temperance ran alongside emancipation, and a film in women's rights, and suffrage, a radical idea, that was sort of made mainstream by attachment to temperance, the idea if you gave women the vote, they would help to vote against alcohol.
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all of these things i thought we knew, but lynn and i were staggered daily by the sense we knew nothing. the only thing that's really new is the his you you don't know. this was an extraordinary afaze nateing -- a fascinating journey into another territory. i hope you can see it because it is a different kind of take. by the way, we have the gangsters and the flappers and the film is sexy, exciting, wonderful, and dangerous, and all of those things, but it's a deeper dive because you realize after awhile the focus on al capone makes us forget ordinary citizens, probably most of us in this room, had we been alive then, would have broken the law, and that ordinary citizens did. journalists and filmmakers -- [laughter] doctors and lawyers and
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lobbyists and the guy on the corner and the guy around the corner all were breaking the law. you know, one of the things that dan, our chief creative consultant said is while the act, the law that was used to apply the amendment was draconian in one sense defining alcohol as one-half of 1% content which he pointed out made german chocolate cake and liberty cabbage illegal, but there was loopholes for medicinal purposes with doctors writing prescriptions that only alcohol apparently could cure, and that we also had a loophole for sackmental uses, and -- sack countrimental uses, and churches and congregations grew by ten-fold -- [laughter] and while there's often a very precise set of guidelines of how you become a priest, in the
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catholic faith, there is not so certain a root in the jewish faith, and who is to say, who is not and who is a rabbi, and therefore you have rabbi named o'shanahan. [laughter] it's american ingenuity at its best. [laughter] it's so exciting that we have to think about it and consider them as we think about drugs, as we look at the record of organized crime, not in that brief period, but that is still with us. we would not have organized crime without prohibition, and, of course, female alcoholism jumped severely, but what we are reminded of too, and what compelled a good deal of our conversation about this film around the country as we take it around the country is this sense of the laws of a civil discourse in our country.
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i asked shelby foot why the civil war happened when we made
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the i mean, i don't care, but the only way you spend months is by giving first. between groups which is the easy way in which we do that and we do too much.
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we are dialectically preoccupied putting a red state or blue state, north or south and east or west, black or white. hit foursquare, whatever we need to superimpose something they bought on something else. we forget how much we share and comment and i think the opportunity provides me to do a film like prohibition, we are reminded of how present the past and what a great teacher does this well. thank you for your attention. [applause] >> thanks again for coming back to the prescott and our many of the hands are anxious to hear you speak as he just did an also pose some questions so we have those now.
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let's just take it for a rally where you left off the air. when documentarians many are for now try to frame history in the current moment, what do you think they will say let us after this particularly argumentative time in our history? >> well, i'd think that we understand that a wedge issue, which in retrospect looks to us to be a point is actually expedient and politically affect it. quite often the shortest distance between what you think you want and getting what you think you want are those type pics. i think as our politics have become an large matter too to our complicity and i mean are within the establishment of the media world that we live in huts that this beast. it becomes easier and easier for us to become independent free agents. i'm not participate in a democracy went to compromise. you will see the kind of
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gridlock. and we see the lack of progress that every citizen wants regardless of every point on the political spec or may come from. >> he said we had a chance to speak before antedate that in many ways this does seem very parallel to arts in our history. and since we are inhabiting this time, we have a tendency to want to make it the most something. so can you put it in that kind of context in your view? how do you rank compared to other portions of our history? as good as dramatic as it may seem to those of us living? >> we are always because we are living in it, and the most dramatic times ever. this is our biased of great eritreans to the present somehow because we are alive and it's happening to us. this is the most important time in those people in the past could not have lived a full of life as we do. and that is one of the things that history has that ability to lift that veil and make the
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distant past. not only our distant past, our prerevolutionary colonial history, but i need 10,000 years ago we can lift the veil on that and extend to those human beings they human beings there humanness who lived in the comment hated in the same capacity we do. this is not as tough economic times. we've done many films on the depression, which was the ultimate ender of prohibition. in that time, in a very desperate time in some cities animals were shot in the meat distributed to the poor. when that happens here, please let me know when we can now begin to change our description from reception. the election of 1928 in which al smith, both a wet and a catholic was so effectively eviscerated by the burns says and by other intolerant forces in america stands as one of the worst election campaigns i've ever seen, but it looks very similar
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to 1800 between chon on and thomas jefferson. we've had a lot worse and we've had a lot better between now. and so, i don't like the fact historians often like to say that things are in cycles or whatever we don't remember where condemned to forget. that seems an obvious corollary to the central theme i hope i've made is that human nature never changes. we are the same kind of people we were 10,000 years ago. the greediness and the generosity, the hypocrisy and the sincerity exists in equal measures not only between, but within us and that has to become our struggle. that question who are we? is actually convenient mass to the real question that all of us face regardless of what we are written, which is who am i? what am i doing here? what is my purpose? when will i leave?
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>> having studied the prohibition area, do you think constitutional ban such as a ban on gay marriage or abortion camera might be successful? >> one of the lasting positive legacies of prohibition has been our now natural suspicion of the next new good thing, the next new magic bullet which will cure everything. the next panacea. and so i think we have become right away suspicious of those amendments. if he just has to blankety-blank thing, everything will be a raid. the single issue groups feel that they can feel the hole at the american political system. armful problems in the narrow lens of the single issue. by doing it as a prohibition of thought, everything will be a raid. as billy sunday said, how will love her be for rent. he was standing room only line to get in because of blue poles and the enticements that
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prohibition, the unintended consequence of it sponsored. that's a healthy come under the american thing. we've gone back to amendments that are merely mechanical. they are about how you keep the machine going, how often you had oil to it and how often you do this and that the presidential succession in, when you inaugurate a president. are no longer tinkering in the same way in large part because we have this deep suspicion of people who will try to sell us that solution and that comes from prohibition. >> someone is asking anything to address this, but perhaps this is more sustained in the way its question. do you think the tampa man that was the product or merely of a conservative or liberal political ideology? >> let us remember. alcoholism was a huge social problem in the early 19th century. it was a huge social problem in 1920 when we passed prohibition for prohibition went into
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effect. it is a huge social problem today and we as a community, whatever you would like to say have obligations to address this problem. and so the reason by prohibition was passed was brought away, whatever their alterative motives thought we could take this big problem off the table. at this big problem is suffered by perhaps 10% of our population. we made the unfortunate decision to apply this to people. it did not work, but it does not leave us free of the moral obligation to try to improve society. that is the role of government, organizations, individuals and is the role of churches. that is our role. and so, this is not an issue that's left or right. this is a human issue. >> here is a personal question.
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he says now you've been dealing with the subject matter of ursuline you've been asked on the road whether you are a teetotaler or something more, let's say, energetic and the consumption of alcohol than not. has your own research and production of the film had any effect on your thoughts about that? >> is so funny. i spent a good deal of my professional life as a teetotaler because i had to wear so many hats that we tend to work long days. i always found that stopping for the drink when everybody else was was not conducive to continuing that work for much longer. but i decided on a course of prohibition, just as i did when i is making a film on the celibate religious sect, the shakers conceived with my coproducer on that film, my first four daughters that was important for me to balance out their teetotaling aspects of so many individuals in our film
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that i fell compelled to drink and drink significantly. [applause] >> all in the name of creativity. >> professional responsibility. >> that makes me frightened, but we had a presidential candidate buying for the republican nomination not that long ago was an advocate of legalization of marijuana. so what parallels do you see with the violence in mexico and along the border with the prohibition era? >> it is so interesting and that is a wonderful question. as a win and i approached it, we would as soon -- we assume that that would be what we be dealing with. the parallels would extend that far. they were overwhelmed and essentially pushed aside by all the other parallels i spoke to the seymour tour essential character. but these comparisons still
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remained and they're not insignificant and we have to talk about them a lot. and we have to use the occasion of history, that table you cited that may be engaged questions of marijuana. it is our largest cash crop, more than soybeans, more than corn, more than we. we look in difficult economic times that a service of potential revenue if it's taxed and regulated. we hope that there could be a concurrent ammunition of the violence attending to its distribution. we have to step back and realize that alcohol has been consumed by human beings as long as there have been human beings. and there is broad, not just popular usage, but except it sounded and all manners of society. drug use is more and marijuana to be specific is more a subculture of manifestation that comes and goes in various places
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that various times. that is quite different. so applying the same sorts of things that she learned may not be adequate and i would urge whether they are who are considering this to proceed slowly and to remember about unintended consequences. however, the single most difficult aspect of this, the violence that attended to it is also connected to and heroin trade. and inextricably connected you suddenly lose violent drug lords in mexico or colombia. in fact, who knows what the unintended consequence might be of denying them the marijuana business. and then, i think if you ask and to join the same conversation as marijuana, huge vast, overwhelming majority of americans cannot go there and then you are now back, not so much at square one, but at a very cautious experimental phase
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in which you try to figure out the ways in which the decriminalization of marijuana could take place. >> so to the extent that your work seems always involves the question, who are we? how honest are we with ourselves about the role of alcohol in our society, both for the good in the bad in the present? >> i think we are merely honest about anything in our society, whether it is sexuality or faith. whether discrete or any of the things that has been transient chili the energy if you will of the subjects of our films. as someone not interested in making or scoring political points in the film, the chair in the conundrum of american human existence and hoping that the distance from us to that moment provides us with some measure of good that we might be able to
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apply it however each individual viewer wishes to apply to the current situation renders your question just that, an excellent question. >> thank you. [laughter] i will take that in lieu of another answer. [laughter] i am told in 1998 you gave a speech titled i'm a yellow dog democrat can you endorse president obama, barack obama for president and produced a video for senator kennedy's 2008 speech for the convention. in light of all of that, the person wants to know how do you separate your personal opinion from your work as a documentarian or the question of the, how much do you want to separate that? >> i want so passionately to separate it. my own personal beliefs, whatever they might be. and all that question did was merely pick up some things. they don't describe friendships
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across the political spectrum or conserve aspects of the cells that need also to be included in a fair question. but i am interested in the facts. the facts at the battle of gettysburg took place on july 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1863 is not a democratic or republican question. it's a fact. the fact that women's christian temperance union might be a progressive organization in the anti-saloon league might be perceived as a more conservative ones and today's standards are and how we would describe it is neither here nor there in terms of my own political calibration. so what i do in my spare time is my own business and i will continue to have my own business. but all of my work for public television has been free of that
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kind of bias advocacy. in the end, that kind of film only preaches to the congregation and it has been my mission since the very beginning and it has been the fact that the response to these films that they have reached out across the very superficial definition of party lines to much more important sense that the broadness and the majesty of our country and spoken to people from every walk of life. if they were merely the reflection is sort of isolated aspects of that question, this hamas would not have the power that i think it has. >> the question i think a journalist says that sells as well as some historians now they say there's a lot of things in common in those pursuits is obviously there are some things upon which all of us agree and some things that perhaps none of us truly agree. and there's some things in the
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middle. so when you are looking to present essentially the story, how do you decide that's okay and that is not? >> that's a very good question. what we do is what any good mutual fund manager with you. we average. we are dependent as a result of the grants we receive not only from the national endowment for humanities, but other groups to have a test a variety of historical advisors. they represent a host that term, both politically, but also academically on any particular subject. our films -- they are not window dressing. they are people we consult at every juncture -- major juncture in the production and may come in and help to center it and remind you of other things. otherwise, you know, we had interesting discussions with prohibition in which we were reminded again and again anything had to be reminded that this was as much as they aggressive the movement that though it could get hijacked it
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became the agenda of the nativist anti-immigrant gang, the notion we say in the beginning of our film for mark twain did nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. that is to say that this is prohibition for someone else and everyone woke up with the worst hangover without having a drink, which as it turns out was for them as well as someone else that we permitted the extraordinary advice and influence of those scholars to make sure that gettysburg still remains on the first second and third of july, 1863. >> so your career has been come as best i can tell, entirely devoted to producing material for public ride past. >> yes. >> in this politicized environment in which we live, there are real budgetary pressures of the congress are working to manage. how fearful are you that some aspects of public rod casting to fall to budget ax?
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the other part of the collation with dcom if it were truly an environment where everyone had to give something up, would it not be fair for public broadcasting to give something as well? >> these are all important questions and i wish him a friend william f. buckley who appeared on television for 30 years and only on public television for 30 years to help me answer your excellent question. we have given up and we continue to give up again and again and again and that means the national endowment for humanities whose contributions to the civil war film approach 45% and now we often receive when we're lucky and do the due diligence of producing the doorstop for proposals that they still and quite rightfully require, receive sometimes less than 10% and still does it the largest grant we have given up and given a. i think lake prohibition, we sometimes fall prey to preconceived notions that permit
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the discussion to fall into the ground of the culture wars if you will. it is so interesting that we are an organization that helps to stitch the country together, to we represent a fraction of the budget, that we are central to the lives of red stators and perhaps even more so than we are to boost eaters, which betrayed a sense of bias. people say that i ask, what you show me the incidence of bias that she perceived? and no one can ever actually pointed out. i remember during the 90s, the friends anyone could ministration railed against public radio and public rod casting for their conservative bias. i think it is often power feels uncomfortable in the face of journalism. i don't need to be preaching that in this cathedral. we would hope that people could
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understand that while we have nothing to do with the defense of our country, we help make this country worth defending. that not everything has to be in the market place, and indeed when your house is on fire at 3:00 a.m. due to knock call the marketplace. and we would like to suggest that this underfunded and quite often much-maligned network, pbs and national public radio, nevertheless in terms of my familiarity with pbs produces the best children's comment by science, this nature, the stars come of this public affairs and i'm told the best history in the title. wendy's got five or 600 other channels as competition, that's a pretty good record. [applause] >> we are almost out of time. i won't be fired if we go over, but i do want to ask a question
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because you said some regard this cathedral to the first amendment. at a time when newspapers are struggling so mightily in a deep broadcast traditional broadcast outlets have also suffered during the downturn, part of that is the digital transition apart as the economy. let's focus for a minute and newspapers. as one who looks at newspapers for a source of material over the years, how important is it in your view that they continue to survive? >> it is essential to the survival of our public, not to their survival. it's important to our survival that they survive. i can tell you when we begin to do publicity tours and you go through a big u.s. city in the newsroom is filled with the size of a football stadium and filled with hundreds of football fields, hundreds and hundreds of reporters go by 10 years later and the tumbleweeds were going through. this is terrifying. we now rely on an internet in which various, with some notable and really excellent exceptions,
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a lot of rumor and innuendo. nobody is watching the city councilman decided that if you spot the property adjacent to the thing they are about to die. that is the road newspapers. nobody -- we've got one newspaper in this country that's got a reporter in southern sudan. that's really important. what happens in southern sudan is important to us in this room today whether we know it or not. we need to have that top to bottom possibility and the great terror of a transformation that's going on that is both the changes in our economic system in which we extract keywords and we are putting in. we are are manufacturing my sincerest and more. all of them suggest dangerous, dangerous threat on this important institution, which as we know, our founders saw as central to the survival of our republic. and so i think anything that
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strengthens these institutions, whether now online and let us not be afraid to embrace new forms of distribution technologies, but let us also be clear that the rumor and opinion is not the same as the dogged research, and that the person who merely authors to push the idea was to lie down the road is not important as the person who's willing to do the difficult work to find out what the truth might be. and that is one of the reasons why with many other enticements before me, i have remained loyal to public television because i believe this is a place in which i can exercise whatever talents i have in this area of american history due to the best of my ability. i've been offered, marketplace include it, no other venue that would permit me to do a steep a dive in the subjects i'm interested in without interference from sponsors or
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interruptions of commercials than any other place in the country. false. >> very good. there are many people who feels passionately about it honestly do. as we floated the last question come a couple of routine housekeeping matters to take care of. first of all, upcoming luncheon speakers. the fifth of october, ron paul, candidate for the gop presidential nomination will be here. they driven and can speak in an internet delivery of news, tmc is hardly liberal talk about changing landscape in entertainment news coverage october 24. something you are familiar with i believe, can, and that is the tried and true tradition of presenting you with a token of our appreciation. that is the national press club coffee mike as we present the last question. thank you for being here.
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[applause] >> i've now got half a dozen. >> and we don't want to see those on ebay. one final question. >> wait, before you do that, my work has always been bottom-up history. we don't feel a top-down version is enough and it's important to acknowledge that today is actually mark, your birthday. and in that spirit has investigation and like everybody to sing happy birthday to mark. ♪ happy birthday to you. happy birthday to you. ♪ happy birthday dear mark. ♪ happy birthday to you. ♪ make a good wish. [applause] >> well, that certainly takes the cake. thank you very much for that. i couldn't have asked for a better surprise on this day and obviously it would have rather
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than anywhere else than we do today so i appreciate that very much. my last question is, as you said earlier you live in the space of public rod casting and weighty material. can you share it as perhaps a guilty pleasure that you share in the commercial broadcast realm where film environments that perhaps they would have known that ken burns was a fan of this? >> well, my biggest commercial television by a synod is a vice because i actually travel around the country and found myself stuck at odd hours in hotel rooms and therefore don't have the benefits of tivo to get around the commercial is common to many, many commercials that we still do not have in public broadcasting. i'm addicted as my oldest daughter is to in order. and i don't mean the other spinoffs. i mean come of it pure, straight, you know come and meet
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fcc we say in the bartending business law and order. .. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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♪ ♪ >> this week on "q&a," a look behind the new book from former secretary of defense, donald rumsfeld. he talks about the making of the book and responds to some reviews. he also looks back to a c-span appearance 20 years ago where he gave advice to presidents and their staffs. ♪ c-span: donald rumsfeld, author of "known and unknown," how did you write this book? >> guest: first i decided to do a quick one in a year using
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basically my memory. instead, i decided i have such a rich archive, and lived so many years, a third of the country's history, which is almost unbelievable, and i decided to digitize a lot of my papers, and then use that. the second thing i did was decide i road -- read a lot of books by friends involved in things i had been involved in, and it was a narrow perspective often, so i decided to bring in, i don't know how many people, 40-50 people one at a time who were involved with me at various segments of my life, and we'd sit in a conference room and tape it, and then we'd transcribe it, and each stimulate the other one and talk about and remind each other of things that took place. we'd transcribe it, and then i also had, oh, i had my parents' letters from world war ii, all the memos from gerald ford, the
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only president or vice president who was not elected. i dictated a lot of memos, and i had mountains of paper, and i did a lot of oral histories over the years. each time i'd do a position why some group came and. and wanted to do an enormous history. i had enormous archives and we began taking it and putting it together and working it and working it and working it. it took four years to do this. i enjoyed it. i said i'm going to expect it's going to be a lot of work, take a long time, and i'll relax and enjoy it. i have. i've visited with a lot of old friends. c-span: where did you do it? >> guest: mostly in washington where my archive is, but the more it got digitized, i could do it at home in new mexico or in st. michaels, maryland. c-span: did you have someone
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overseeing the whole thing? >> guest: i got an army. i've got three key people who help me do all of it, and then i had five or six other people who have been doing the fact checking and research and transcribing and all the mountain of work that it involves, so we probably had a team of six or seven people. c-span: how many days or hours collectively did you actually spend on it, do you think? >> guest: oh, goodness. over four years. c-span: every day? >> guest: most every day. it would probably be five and a half, six days a week. c-span: why did you want to spend all this time doing this? >> guest: well, at first, i didn't. at first i thought i'd do a short book, and then i decided that i had the time. i had the ability to digitize,
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which saves an enormous amount of time, and i decided that what i wanted to do is try to write it for part-time who are interested -- it requester people who are interested in government, in history, serious people who want to feel they were there in the room when decisions were made, and get a sense of the people and what the differences were or what the agreements were, how it worked, but i -- but the website that we created with these hundreds and hundreds of documents, and, you know, thousands of pages, give a reader a chance to read the book, look at an end note, something like a thousand or 1300 end notes, and then go see the entire memo. if i quote a paragraph, they can then go look up the entire memo. that was what the context was. i wanted to do it because i'm
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able to do it, have the time, and archives. many people wrote a book, i have never written a book. c-span: who paid for this? staff and everything. >> guest: i did. c-span: has have idea been done for that you know it? >> guest: not that i know of. what we've done is we've taken all of these primary source documents, things in large measure i wrote for whatever reason over so many decades, and digitized them, and then you with research it by keyword, name, or date, and so i think that it's -- the book is rooted in the archives, and it is what it is. it says what happened, i think. c-span: i know when i got on, i could type in names of people i've known, and it would come up, but i guess -- and you just said this -- you can actually
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click on a letter or article in the end notes, which i don't think i've seen before, and as you'll see, i'll read back to you things people wrote, using your own end notes against you. >> guest: sure, exactly. it's inevitable. if you put that much out there, someone's going to find something. a lot of it is never read by me. it was never edited. there's misspellings, names wrong, but these were working documents. these were things that actually were part of how things worked. c-span: what do you think it cost you? >> guest: oh, goodness. i don't know. it cost quite a bit. fortunately life is good spending 20 years in the private sector, and i've been able to do that. c-span: half million or million dollars you think? >> guest: i don't want to guess. c-span: but a lot of money? >> uh-huh. c-span: what do you hope to get from this? >> guest: to have produced a
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book, which i think i have, which will interest people in the public service, inform serious people about how decisions are made and the fact that those are tough jobs and that the people in them are honorable people and that they have to make decisions with imperfect information inevitably. i hope they have a look at what the times i have lived have been, this third of our country's history. i mean, think of it -- i was serving in congress during the vietnam war and during the civil rights marchs and times when the city of washington, d.c. was in flames after martin luther king was killed. faze enates -- fascinated. they can get a sense that president lyndon johnson was unable to leave the white house because of the demonstrators against the war in vietnam. we have tendencies to think of the times we live in are ewe duh
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unique, and they are different, but in my 78 years i've seen a lot of turmoil in the country and difficulties in the country. i must say i also hope that i hope people read this and see how important the all volunteer military's been. if you think about it, back in the 60s, before president nixon, mitton friedman, the push for the volunteer army, and the president got it through the congress. before that, there were people serving who did not want to serve in our military. everyone today is there because they want to. every single person is there because they put up their hand saying i want to do this. i'm a volunteer. send me. the mood in the country is different as a result of that compared to the vietnam war. today what's going on in iraq or afghanistan. the american people are proud of the military, and the military are proud of what they are doing, and they know what they are doing and why they are doing, which is why i decided i
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wanted the proceeds of the book to go to the men and women in uniform and their families who also serve and to the children of the fallen, and that's what will happen with the proceeds. c-span: if you get on the donald rumsfeld's foundation website, you have somewhere around $10 million in the foundation, maybe more by now, but you give scholarship money away. how do you choose the people? how much of that have you done, and why are you doing that? >> guest: i've had people work for me in government who never could have gotten a masters' or a ph.d. on their own, and there was a foundation that was supporting that type of thing for people who needed the assistance, and joyce, my wife joyce, decided to give money each year, and there's spotters around the country at 10 or 15 different universities making recommendations to us, and we
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select them and provide the funds they need, the tuition and stipends they need to be able to -- particularly to people interested in public service, people who are studying nings like economics or government or international affairs and things that relate to government with the thought that maybe some day they'll participate in helping to guide and direct our country. c-span: go back to the book itself. how much of it did you personally write? >> guest: well, i wrote a lot, and i don't know quite how to answer because i dictated. i dictated, and then it would be transcribed, and then our team of people would work it and fact check it and recast it, and i suppose i've been over every word in it oh, somewhere between 15 and 20 times editing and editing, which is what i do. we took material, things that i dictated years ago, and kales
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and memos and the likes. c-span: are you tired of this? writing it and talking it. i've seen you on fox several times, on abc, cbs, read a lot of interviews in "usa today" and other publications. is this getting old? >> guest: no, it's not at all. i enjoy doing it as i said, and if one looks in the book, i think it's clear that i feel very fortunate to have been able to serve in government over so many different roles over so many decades, and i find it interesting. i also have never written a book before, and the thing i've always enjoyed in life most is learning, and this has been an opportunity for me to learn, which makes it particularly interesting. i think if you do something over and over and over again, probably it can get a little tiring, but i've never written a book, and it's been a
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challenge. we've put together this wonderful team of people, and we worked hard on it and enjoyed it, and i'm enjoying having a chance to talk a bit about the book and how we did it and why we did it. c-span: you told fred barnes in the weekly standard that you called seven people before the book was published to tell them what to expect in it, and maybe you wrote 20 others. >> guest: i did. c-span: explain that and why did you call hem and who did you call? >> guest: i remember calling president bush and vice president cheney and koa lin powell,condy rice, and to other people. this had not been done before, and then there's going to be this website that never existed before where people are going in in large numbers, and i thought
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the people ought to know that their names are in some of these memo, and i didn't want them to be surprised. i told all of them. i doubt if there was a single memo in there that referenced them that they had not already seen. it would be something i sent to them earlier or they sent to me or where we discussed something, so i don't think there were surprises. the only surprise would be that suddenly a lot of people unknown to me or them would be going into the website and seeing the moment moes and reading them. c-span: i saw a memo was classified, you got the defense department to declassify it, and if i want one of those, i have to go through the freedom of information act to do it. is that a little bit unfair to the outside world that you can getting? declassified that i could? >> guest: no, i don't think so. i was, for example, in u.s. ambassador to nato back in 1973-74, and there's certain
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things where they just declassify after certain periods, and i was president reagan's middle east envoy in the 1980s, and as i talked about in the book, smeeting with hussein in those things, and a great large fractions of those things are automatically declassified, and then we had a number of things i dictated. of course, classified only because they were time sensitive, and i classified them originally, and the pentagon does this in the normal course of things, and they have. c-span: i have a bunch of comments of your book here. who made the decision to give the first interviews to abc and why? >> guest: i don't know why. i suppose the various networks indicated they'd like to do it, and then the publisher and people expert in all of this, which i'm not, would discuss it,
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and then we'd end up discussion it, and someone in the group recommended this or that, and then that would happen. c-span: anything to do with diane sawyer working to the years ago? >> guest: no. we never really worked together. she was in the white house office in the nixon administration, but, no, we never worked closely together at all. c-span: i want to run the opening to "nightline," and you worked for seven years, and the book is into the media. and this is the introduction. i want your reaction. >> guest: it must be bad. c-span: no, it's not. have you seen it? >> guest: no. c-span: let's run it and get your reaction. >> caller: okay. >> tonight on "nightline," tonight's exclusive, head to head with donald rumsfeld in a tv first. the former secretary of defense opens up as never before. the controversies, the war, the
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wmd, and the big question, what did he get wrong? plus, the man's whose public face gets emotional for the first time about his private trials at home during his tenure at the pentagon, and eye opening interviews start right now. >> from the global resources of abc news with terry, cynthia, and bill weir in new york city. this is nightline, february 27 #, 2011. c-span: so what's your reaction to the donald rumsfeld book? >> guest: well, i think i have seen that or at least parts of that. you mean i know what i think about the book. i like it. c-span: i mean the way it's treated. >> guest: it sounds like it's hype. i guess they want people to watch their television show is why they do it that way. that's not -- the book has been characterized quite differently
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by other people as a very serious, historical book that people interested in history will read. c-span: what's your reaction in two cases they show you breaking down on camera. what's your reaction to seeing that? >> guest: well, you know, i was -- i don't know what my reaction is. it happened. my wife was terribly sick, almost died at one point, and we've -- my bad had alzheimer's and it's something that's hard to talk about or think about, and those are things that i'm not normally discussing, but she asked the questions, and i answered them as best i could. c-span: have you seen the review of the book in bloomberg business news? >> guest: no, i have not. c-span: i'll read it. "i've known donald rumsfeld for 15 years, and i approached known
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and unknown with tom trepidation. i was against the iraq war from the autoset. this book changed my mind. he does not suffer from test toes roan deficit syndrome, but his critics have to distan he's dishonest and takes the blame, and there were other valid reasons for taking out hussein, among them the more than numerous violations of the u.n. resolutions. he makes no claims to being a pr genius and acknowledges the old europe crack didn't help, but america did the right thing in iraq, would do it again, and bush 41 should have finished the job on the first go around issue but doesn't buy into the theory that bush 43 went back to upstage his old man." he says he's known you for 15 years, against the war, but likes your book. does that surprise you? >> guest: no, i hope other people who read the book
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carefully -- i've seen negative comments, and it connedded like they had -- sounded like they did not read it, but that sounds like a serious person who read it and that's what he thinks, and people think what they think. that's the way our country works. c-span: interrupt me at any time. i'll read you the al newhart column from february 11. did you see that? >> guest: i have not. c-span: founder of usa today, a column every friday and says, donald rumsfeld best known and remembered as president george w. bush's secretary of defense and penned an 815-page book released this week and should remind us of how little we knew about iraq and how donald rumsfeld, cheney, bush, and others pulled the wool over our eyes. >> guest: that's just inaccurate. in the book as i discuss at some length, think about this, colin powell made the presentation at the united nations.
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he probably had more experience dealing with intelligence materials than anyone, including george ten gnat, the director of cia, and one of the reports delivered to him, spent days working on it, and he prepared a speech for the world which he believed every single word in it, let there be no doubt. president bush believed every word he said as did vice president cheney and condy rice and as did i. i believe it is -- i don't know quite how to characterize a person who comes to that conclusion when all the evidence is to the contrary. the congress, republicans and democrats alike, looked at the same intelligence and voted overwhelmingly for the resolution for president bush. the political leadership in the congress, hillary clinton, bill clinton, john kerry, one after another, al gore, were in
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support. now, when things didn't go well, obviously, they shifted their positions somewhat, but you can go back to the record that's clear. the intelligence agencies of the united kingdom and of france and of other countries all were in agreement, and i think it's terribly unfair to suggest that anyone was pulling the wool over anyone's eyes. it's just flat not true. c-span: they said fixing the problem would be simple before the invasion, and donald rumsfeld told troops it could last six days, six weeks, i doubt six months, and which iny said it would be weeks rather than months. >> guest: talking about major combat operations, and there was nothing inaccurate there as all. i don't know how many times i said that anyone who tells you how long it's going to last, how much it's going to cost, or how many lives will be lost is making a mistake because people almost always are wrong.
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c-span: marine doud -- >> guest: you have to be kidding. c-span: here we go. there's a sentlating list of acronyms to explain why he was not responsible when stuff happened, an old phrase of yours, and this memoir is like a living breathing version of the man himself, it's totally absent any self-criticism. >> guest: false. anyone who read it knows i tried in there to talk about things that were disappointments or things that one might regret and do regret. i think what i've done is to try to set out not only my recollections and my opinions, but also documentation that supports it. c-span: do you read that stuff when -- >> guest: no. c-span: never? >> guest: my goodness gracious. c-span: why not? >> guest: why would one? she is a fixation and she's
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cynical. my wife read one and said i hope that women is not as cynical in all her life as she is in her columns because it would be an unhappy life. c-span: how do you filter information now that you're in civilian life? >> guest: i obviously use a computer, and i listen to news programs occasionally, and i read a lot. i read newspapers. c-span: stop there because in the early part -- i want to go back to some of this, but in the early part of the book you cite whittaker chambers as having impact on your life. >> guest: partly because it is an important book and also i read that at an important time in my life. i was in college, and i watched the army mccarthy hearings, and they had an impact on me. it was an opportunity to see the
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congress going beyond its proper role. c-span: what was it about the whole episode that got your attention? > guest: the cold war was on, and this was a man who was a come mew nighs, a confessed communist, and the hearings, of course, in the congress where there was the one side, a person who had been a clerk as i recall for felix frankfurter, attractive, gone to the nice schools and so forth and had a man who was an admitted communist, not very attractive, nobody believed him or supported him, and when the thing sorted out, it turned out that whittaker chambers was correct, and he was, in fact, had known him and had been a communist, and that twist where everybody seemed to think was not the case was helpful, and, of course, it
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was also at the time that the soviet union was aggressive and expending in several continents. there was concern about the influence of communism in the world, and i was studying government and political science in school, so it just had an effect. c-span: witness, you mentioned the mccarthy hearing. other things like that still with you years later? >> guest: well, adalay stevens speech at my college banquet in 1954 is unquestionably a speech that was inspiring. it was elegant, eloquent, pointed to young men getting ready to go off and serve in the military, and it left me with the clear understanding that all of us have an obligation to participate and help guide and direct our country and civic
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responsibilities, and i hope people will read it. i put that speech on my website so it might inspire other people. c-span: i want to show you video from 20 years ago. this was a conference on the presidency at the university on long island, and it's just 30 seconds. it will speak for itself. >> so many people would come up to me as chief of staff and say, this is a terrible mistake. we similarly got to -- simply got to get the president to change his mind. i say terrific, let's go this afternoon, walk into the president's office, kiss his ring, tell him what a wonderful job he was.cc, walk out and said, well that should have set him straight. bang. [laughter] they go absolutely to jelly when they walk in the oval office. i suppose i understand it, but i must say i found it frustrating. c-span: how often did you see that happen? >> guest: oh, all the time.
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you know, i've been collecting things i could donald rumsfeld's rules. not really mine, but insights from people smarter than i am, and one of them is that if you have proximity to a president, you automatically have an obligation to tell him the truth and what you really believe because people who don't have proximity and only go in and see him occasionally simply don't want to do it. they will tell me and they'll say this is terrible and he's got -- ford's got to do this or that or bush has to do this and it's a big mistake, and you put them there, and they just can't get it out. it's their one chance, and they want the president to know they like him, wish him well, positive about him generally, and they don't want to use their brief moment with the president to open a wound. c-span: can you remember when you told a president exactly how
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you feel about things and -- >> guest: oh, my goodness, over and over and over. c-span: give us an example of a moment. >> guest: well, if you go to the book, i discuss my situation with gerald ford. that's unusual. here's a man, the only president i've ever known that was a friend. we served in congress together. i tried to -- i did help him become the minority leader of the united states house of representatives, and so we had a different kind of a relationship and one would normally have with a president, but i would walk into him over and over, and there are or will soon be memos on my website where we're -- i just say precisely what i said, and what i would do is say, look, i think you are doing this flat wrong, and here's why. one time he was preparing for a speech on the wind program, and i read it, came to be late, he scheduled time for the congress, and i read it and said, look,
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this is not good enough for a president. it's not going to do the job. this is too an important a subject, cancel your speech, take five minutes and tell the world the truth. the truth is this is an important issue, the economy's in the tank, and that you're not satisfied with what you've, what the economist, and your team have put together, and you're going to go back to the drawing board, and by, golly, you're going to get this right. he said, ronny, i think this is a good program, and i'm going to go ahead and do it. i said, well, it's a whale of a mistake, and he did. he went out, and it was laughed out. the wind program, and the buttons that said wind. c-span: sure. whip inflation now. >> guest: yeah. c-span: let me show you a picture of you and ford there. you can see it there. he's waving, and you're off to the right. what's the story there? >> guest: that was in san
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fransisco, and this woman, sarah jane moore, just across the street, normal street size, his car was right in front of him, and we came out together, and he had thought an elevator came down and hit his head and scared his head, and he was teased by folks about stumbling and so forth, one the best athletes that ever served in that office, and i said to him, look, when you come out, you know, you don't want to have chase have a big fun at your expense about the fact you bumped your head again. come out, walk fast, wave, and just get right in the car and we'll get out to the airport. well, he came out, and the bullet, she shot a bullet, by his head, by my head, into the wall of the st. francis hotel, pushed him in the back of the
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car and the secret service guy and i were on top of him, and the car sped out of town, and six blocks later, you said, come on, get off, you're heavy. fortunately, he was not hit, but it was a second time that he had been someone who was tried to be assassinated in california, and the other was in sacramento in the park as we were working to meet jerry brown. c-span: both women in prison? >> guest: they let sarah jane moore out. i don't know about the other. she said she was sorry she missed, and shemented to create -- she wanted to create chaos. c-span: what's that do to you, a near miss, and to him? >> guest: well, he -- we got him a bullet proof vest finally, and he wore it, i think, twice, but for me what it told me was it's practically impossible to
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protect a person, you know? if you're a politician, and you're out seeing people and doing things and are around, the person who tries to do it can be killed or captured generally, but it's just not possible to protect a person, you know, 24 hours a day against every conceivable type of attack. c-span: one of the things learned in your book is things about connections, people you knew, and i want to run another clip from that session you had which will get us to the next section talking about business and government. >> guest: uh-huh. >> as in business, i think success in government requires an orientation to the customer. the only reason for government to exist is to serve the people. it's important for people in the white house to remember that. i don't know quite why it is that that fact is so easily overlooked. i suppose in business, if you
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overlook it, you go out of business, but in government, it just goes on and on and on. c-span: how many years in business? >> guest: oh, more than 20. i was chief executive of general instrument corporation and chairman of gilliad sciences over the years. c-span: how would you characterize a for-profit business, stock market, the whole thing, and running a government agency like the department of defense? >> guest: in business, if you do poorly, the business goes out of business. it ends. government doesn't end. government can do quite poorly over a long, long, long period of time, and it just goes on and on and on. the -- another thing about business is, you know, human
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beings, unless you're einstein or mozart and you go off by yourself to do something brilliant, the rest of us, what we do is with other people, so in business, you lay out a course of action, try it, get people to help you do it. if the people do well, you reward them. if the people don't do wellings you get other people to help do it, and if it does well, you encourage it and keep it going. if it does not do well, you stop it. in government, it's quite different. in government, for example, when i was running the office of economic opportunity, we would try something, and before we could even get it going, the congress wanted an oversight hearing. people wanted to have an inspector general's report on it. people kept pulling it up by the roots to see how it was doing, and that's the first way to kill something. we tried educational vowtures,
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certain types of family assistance in welfare, performance contracting in education, but no one would let them really be their long enough to see if they wowed work. they always wanted to examine it, debate it, discuss it, which in the case of business is not the case at all. you can go out and try something. if it doesn't work, you stop it. if something doesn't work in government, well, my goodness, they're investigations, you made a big mistake, everything's horrible, and so the chances of having something succeed in business are vastly greater. in government, because of something doesn't ever end, it doesn't have to stop if it doesn't work well, that's not the case. c-span: the day we're taping this, monday, february 14th, this article in "usa today"
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right here it says the challenge of belt tightening, pentagon tried for years to drop alternative engine for f-35, yet lawmakers refuse to cancel the program. >> guest: yeah. c-span: you saw this up close and talk about the iron triangle in your book. what is that and then i want to ask more things like this. >> guest: the iron triangle, as i characterize it, is the fact that the bureaucracy in the department of defense, military and civilian, is relatively permanent. it's there. the defense contractors, that's an institution that exists in our society, relatively permanent, and it's there, and the congress of the united states. the members and their staffs change relatively little in any given election cycle, and the three of them get together and develop a comfort level as to what ought to be. now, somebody comes in there and wants to change that, namely a president of the united states
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gets elected, and he has views. p. george w. bush gave a speech outlining what he thought ought to happen, how the department of defense could be brought into the 21st century, and any changes that are made are tend to be made over the objection of the congress, the defense contractors, and the permanent bureaucracy. they are comfortable with the way it is, concluded that's the way it ought to be, and if a president is elected and comes into office with different views, there tends to be natural opposition to it. i canceled, for example, the crusader program. i can't think of a worse name in this environment than the crusader, but it was an enormous artillery piece that took two aircraft to move anywhere in the world, certainly not something appropriate for the 21st century and the asymmetric warfare we are facing, and the opposition to it was just incredible.
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i mean, the retired community in the army, the active duty community in the army, the civilian contractors, the congress. i'll give you an example, just a data point. when i was secretary of defense in the 70s, the defense authorization bill was 74 pages long. when i came back in the year 2001, if i'm not mistaken, the defense authorization bill was over 500 pages, so what happened is in the intervening period, the staffs in congress, they ballooned by a multiple of two or three. the continuing layering of requirements from the congress generally stimulated either by the defense community or stimulated by the bureaucracy because they want to perpetuate something and ends up with rule, requirement, reports, all of these things, hundreds of reports are required by the department of defense.
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hundreds of letters have to be answered for all kinds of detailed things, and the movement away from legislative oversight of a browed substantive nature, which would be very constructive if hearings were held on important things. going down, not to big broad issues, but down to micromanagement of the thing. the closist thing i can think of is gulliver's travels, and they put threads over him. he was big and strong, and the thread, no one of the threads made a difference and was not a problem or two or five or ten or -- but when you put hundreds on him, he couldn't get up. that's what's happening. c-span: for five years running, two presidents tried to eliminate funding for backup engine on a fighter jet and robert gates calls it
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unnecessary, and it goes into the details how much money the industries give to the members of congress, and the members, a former omb director, rob portman wrote up in here by receiving? like $59,000 from ge over the 2010 elections, and i guess the main point here to find from you is how can we, with the probably we're in economically, how is this ever going to stop when the defense department who needs the weapons says no and the congress says yes? >> guest: i mean every year there was another -- i don't know 10 or 12 billion that the congress added to our legislation. we didn't want. we argued, please, don't put that in there. it's for things that had nothing to do with the defense budget. now, the implication of the question is, sure, we have serious economic problems in the country, but there's no way to balance the budget off the
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defense department. c-span: my implication is how do we start this throughout government? >> guest: exactly. it's broad. the entitlements is basically where the money goes, the largest frangs. we spend today a relatively small percentage of gdp on defense compared to, for example, back in the eisenhower and kennedy era, we were spending, i think, 10%. we're now down to the 3% and 4% in that area of gdp. c-span: i want to put something up on the screen because while you were off being secretary of defense, we were getting phone calls on the call-in show every day about this, and you talk -- you elude to in the book, but don't talk specifically about it. what i have here is an january 26, 1998 letter that you signed. >> guest: 1998? c-span: 1998. you signed it. i'll read it and ask you about
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it. you'll see why. this was to president clinton, and we'll show you in a minute the list of people who signed it. you say here, "the only acceptable strategy is one that e limit nates the possibility that iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. in the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military diplomacy as it is failing. in the long term, it means removing hussein and his regime from power. that should be the aim of american foreign policy. we urge you to articulate this aim and to turn your administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing hussein's regime from power requiring a full complement of military efforts and we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing the policy and the failures of doing so is far greater. the authority of the u.n. resolutions can take the necessary steps and military steps to protect our vital interests in the gulf.
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in any case, american policy cannot continued to be crippled by a misguided assistance on unanimity in the u.n. security counsel." look on the screen, and you'll see who signed it, and those people on the right, all of those people were out of government at the time, and then in the next administration of george bush, they come in, and next to the security counsel there with and richard pearl, there you are, donald rumsfeld heading up the defense department. my guess is in so many ways this letter, which was a project for a new american century, you were successful. >> guest: the -- it's interesting because that was in 1998, and the democratic congress passed a resolution that made the policy of the united states of america a regime change in iraq, and president clinton agreed with it and signed it, and there was broad agreement in both
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political parties back in the 1990s that there was -- i mean, here you had a country that was on the state department's terrorist list. you have a country that had invaded kuwait. you had a country that had engaged in a long war with iran. you had a country that was shooting at american airplanes almost every day as the u.k. and the u.s. aircraft patrolled the no-fly zones in the northern and southern part of iraq, and you had a country that had rejected, i think, eventually, some 17 u.n. resolutions. i don't think it's surprising that a number of people in both political parties held that view. c-span: well, by and large, these are the people who moved into the add mrks, had the view before they got into the administration. >> guest: it was broadly supported by democrats and president clinton. c-span: i don't question that, but it was interesting this was placed, set up by, i think, robert kagan and bill crystal,
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and here all of you were together then, and i just wondered if you remember why you signed that letter and what the circumstances were around it because people call this all the time and said we should have known this was coming because these guys all greed to it beforehand. >> guest: it's interesting. c-span: whether it's a con spirity or whatever, it happened. >> guest: it's a matter of public record. people said it publicly, and president clinton agreed, and the democratic house and senate agreed. how could anyone use the word "con conspiracy"? c-span: you probably haven't heard some of our callers. the fact is all of you knew each other then, agreed on that point, and then you came into government. it's not surprise you carried it out. >> guest: i had no intention of coming back into government. you can be sure of that. that was a big surprise for me. president george w. bush did not sign that.
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c-span: no, but vice president cheney signed it the year before. you are richard, george -- well, you saw the list. >> guest: yeah. well, what i would say is that president bush did not sign. he was the president. he is the one who made the decision, and i think that using the word "conspiracy," brian, is a real unfortunate thing. c-span: i'm not using the word. >> guest: yeah, there's people who say things like that, but there's not any sled to the legitimacy of the use of that word. c-span: here's an odd and end i want to ask you about. this is a book about you, and i'll run this, and you tell us finally what is true and what is not true. let's run this. >> i can't be the first person to tell you the first thing i learned in here that surprised
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me was that donald rumsfeld is a close friend of dan rathers and co-owns a ranch with him somewhere. where did you find that? >> well, when i was interviewing donald rumsfeld's friends, one mentioned, by the way, i think he and dan rather own property together in new mexico, so i said, oh, that's an interesting tidbit. dan rathers is not a particular ally of republicans, and donald rumsfeld is a lifelong republican, so i called donald rumsfeld's aid, and he said to me i think that's urban legend. i don't think that's true. two days later, he comes back and says, yeah, they own a ranch together, in new mexico, so they met during the nixon administration when rather covered the white house, and they just remained friends, very close friends ever since. >> guest: want the facts? c-span: yes, sir. >> guest: the facts are these. i did not know dan rather. we were not close friends.
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our children went to school together in washington, d.c., our wives were close friends, and we became friends.. it was not because he was covering the white house. i was in government, but i didn't deal with him from a press standpoint at all. it was more of a neighborhood type thing, and at a certain point, it was not poess, new mexico. i can't remember of the name of the town, it's over east of santa fe, and we owned a ranch there, there were five of us, i think, that owned the ranch, just different people, different relationships, and it was kind of a -- we never used it much. it was an investment, and i've known dan over the years, and i have not seen him in ages. my wife, joyce, seens jean from time to time. c-span: do you have an ownership
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anymore? >> guest: no. that was in the 70s and 80s. it's going to be, i don't know, 15 years since we've had that ranch. oh, near las vegas, new mexico, not november. c-span: embedding of journalists in the iraq war, at some point, 775 journalists and photographers. whose idea was it? >> guest: i don't know precisely. i know who i heard it first from, and that was troy clark, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, and she worked with her staff and various people discussing it whether or not it was a good idea, and she came to general myers, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and me and said that she believed this would be a good idea, that we coupled allow journal -- we could allow journalists to go into the units and let them see
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for themselves what the men and women in uniform were doing, and how they were doing it, and now, the downside to that, obviously, is if you have journalists embedded in your units, you have to protect them. you have to feed them. you have to transport them and move them around, and you don't want them saying things to put our troops in jeopardy by revealing what was going dob done next or that type of thing. she was persuasive and event by dick myers and i both liked the idea, agreed, and she set about doing it and did it very, very well, and i think that an awful lot of young journalists, men and women were willing to put themselves as risk and you have to credit them for that. they had a chance to see how
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truly magnificent they are, how well they do their jobs, how professional they are, how proud of they are of what they do. there's people that live next door to all of us, and so we decided that was a good idea. we did it, and for some long period, it worked rather well. c-span: you remember probably how the media covered vietnam. >> guest: yes. c-span: and now you've been through this. if secretary of defense comes to you in the future and says what should i do? we're faced with this again. would you recommend embedding to them? >> guest: i would. i would. i think that an awful lot the journalists have never served in the military, and i think they probably, regardless of what they wrote or what they saw or what their editors wanted them to write, they saw how truly wonderful these young men and women are who volunteer to serve
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our country, and i think that's good because these people in journalism have a responsibility. they will be writing for the rest of their lives probably, and if they inside know that these people are good people, that they are decent and that they are hard working and that they are brave and that they are trying to do what's right, sure, the people in the military make mistakes. you bet. will they see things that are going to be not positive for the military or for the administration or for the armed forces generally? yes, they will. do they get pressure from their editors who are competing to sell newspapers or get advertising people to support their television programs? yeah, they get pressure, and the old story is if it bleeds it leaves, and sometimes people get in a hurry and they want to have it fast, but not right, but can you live with that? sure. i would recommend they do it. c-span: you mentioned troy clark, and there's one little
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story in here where she's mentioned, and it's two reasons i want to bring it up. one, you're the secretary of defense, and you have a relationship with everybody else in the defense department on a level of your the mr. secretary, i assume. did anybody call you don? >> guest: oh, some friends do. c-span: in the pentagon? >> guest: oh, sure. c-span: and call you rummy? the day of 9/11, you had been rescuing people, been at the penalty -- pentagon until eleven o'clock at night, and she asked if you called your wife. do you remember thatting? >> first, when you say "i was rescuing people," i was there for a very short period of time, helped out briefly, and got back to my office. i do. i don't know what time it was, 10:30 or something at night, 11 at night. c-span: yeah, yeah. >> guest: we had a tough day.
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the country had a tough day. hundreds of thousands of people were killed. buildings were smoking and burning and pulling people out of the charred remains of that area where the american airlines plane hit our building, and i went back to the office, and we're trying to sort through -- i wanted to keep the building open. i didn't want the terrorists it shut us down, and we were trying to see if that would be possible, and that type of thing, and at some moment she looked at me and said, have you called mrs. r.? i just said no. she blurted out, not mr. secretary, not sir, she just blurted out you son of a bitch, and it was a stunner. i don't know what i said, but i probably said you got a point, but i've talked to joyce about that since. my wife, and she said, it never
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crossed her mind. we had been married, what? 56 years now. that was a decade ago, 46 years or something. she said she knew where i was. she was hearing reports. i knew where she was. she had been at the defense intelligence agency with a bunch of defense people getting a briefing, and she didn't have any doubt in her mind but that i had things i had to do, and so it was not a problem. tori was looking at it -- she was looking at it as a wife and a spouse, and it was a perfectly understandable reaction i suppose, and i don't know what i said, but i probably said i think you got a point. c-span: that's what you said in the book. >> guest: yeah. c-span: presidents you worked around and observed over the years, now, this is not politics. this is -- which president in
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your experience was the best suited to run the country? not from a public relations stand point, but you talk a lot in the book about systems, white house systems and the different meetings and all that you had, but which do you think was best equipped to run the country? >> guest: you have to appreciate they were all very different. we have to remind ourselves that the times they served were notably different so this skill sets or the backgrounds that might be most beneficial at one period might not be quite as beneficial in another. they also were different at different stages of their presidency. if they served over time, they might have come in with some strengths and weaknesses, and as it evolved, those weaknesses might have very well disappeared thairn strengths became greater so it's a hard question to answer. i think that that -- from the
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time heavings -- i think from the time he was there, the fact that gerald r. ford had such basic human decency and was so naturally a human being that people could appreciate, i think that coming in as he did when the reservoir was drained in our country, following the only president in our history to resign was a terribly difficult thing, and i think he helped heal the country, and that was important. i -- i mean, ronald reagan unquestionably had a strategic sense that was directionally correct by my standard, and enormously helpful to our country in terms of ending the cold war. he did an awful lot that was right, and, i mean, dwight
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eisenhower had a largely successful president sigh. richard nixon, my goodness, tremendously intelligent man with a seriousness of purpose and brought a new talented team of people into government who affected the course of government for decades there after. people like henry kissenger and so many others. c-span: we're out of time, but why did you not take the job of the committee not to reelect president nixon? >> guest: i was interested in the substantive side of government opposed to the political side, and i just didn't have any interest in doing it. c-span: we're out of time. the book is "known and unqoan: a memoir." donald rumsfeld, thank you for joining us. >> guest: thank you, sir. ♪
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..
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this week on q&a, television personnel alyona minkovski, host of "the alyona show," seen on rt, a russian government television station streaming live and broadcasting in over 100 countries worldwide. c-span: alyona minkovski, what is "the alyona show"? >> guest: the "the alyona show" at this point has become almost an extension of myself, whereas at first it was a project and it was to go make a tv show. now it really has become i think "the alyona show" and it
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embodies my passion, the things that i really feel deserve to be on top news in the, you know, in the world, especially in the u.s., too, because we do focus on domestic politics, u.s. politics. so the primary goal is to offer an alternative to the mainstream media because there's just -- i'm sorry. there's just so much garbage out there that you want somebody that can lead through and who's not just going to go through the basic d.c. back-and-forth talks that you have about who said what in terms of eric cantor and john boehner. there are larger stories out there including the new earth world countries involved in the economic situation. and i think that so many people -- people want somebody who was willing to talk about in a big picture to connect the dots and i know by providing that for people and especially for younger audience. i think "the alyona show" is the new generation of what news gays in the sense that it's not dry, it's not dodging. it's witty, its sarcastic.
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so you're entertained, but you're also being informed and learning something. you're not being dumbed down the way that i think a lot of the other news does. c-span: where can i see it? >> guest: you can watch rt on cable in almost every single or every major city in the u.s.. i know we are on cable in new york, d.c., chicago, los angeles, san francisco, and i believe may be north or south carolina. something like 20 to 22 million households now within the u.s. can access rt on cable. around the world we are on satellite and you can always watch online. "the alyona show" has its own youtube channel. you can go to the rt web site at least dream everything so there's a lot of options if you to find it. c-span: how long have you been doing it? >> guest: the show itself or rt? c-span: either one. >> guest: i've been working about two and a half years. we went live i think january 21st of last year.
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so it's been about a year and a half and prior to that, we had a few months, about two and a half months it was an experiment will phase. we were taping the show. it was 30 minutes. we did it twice a week then we started three times a week in and went to five days a week and we started life for in every hour day. c-span: we have some tape of you on the first show. >> guest: that some embarrassing. c-span: it's only 40 seconds. let's watch. ♪ welcome to "the alyona show." i'm alyona minkovski and this is episode one of a brand new experience coming straight out of washington, d.c.. i'm not from here myself. i came from california to take a fresh glance at the beltway politics to see how things work around here and try to stir it up a little bit because there's so much that goes on and nobody else bothers to share. so i'm here to find that and to
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give you something different. so from the same old story if you are sick of dancing around all the real issues, then "the alyona show" is the place for you. c-span: you know, in one of the blogs a couple months ago you wrote this. so we will get into some if your background. how often you get that and explain rt eustis stand for russia today. how does that network work? >> guest: i can't say that when i was guest blogging radley balko's blog, the agitator the was my little introduction there were i decided to play with it, to make fun of some of the critique the we get because yes, rt did stand for russia today
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and now we just go by rt. it's cleaner and it's more simple and for me, part of that is just being able to laugh at the critique because i don't feel like it is valid. i do believe that people are afraid when they see somebody else -- and we've seen this from secretary of state hillary clinton who has mentioned rt. we've seen this from the broadcasting board of governors. they see this as a competition, and they say that we are losing to the russians coming and they can't believe that it's happening on their own turf here in the u.s.. but for me, i am an american. so any time i hear that criticism that i somehow an anti-american and i work for a propaganda machine that works against this government, i have to laugh at it because otherwise it gets my blood boiling because all i am an american. i love this country and i feel it is my duty. i believe the west far as calling it my patriotic duty to report on what's happening here on these issues that i feel like our mainstream media really is
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happy to close their eyes to. is really happy to try to blind the eyes of the masses as well because i feel like they have become this body that works for the government. they are a lapdog of the government instead of a watchdog of the government these days. so somebody's got to do it and it's embarrassing i think for the u.s. media if rt is doing a much better job of exposing some of the hypocrisy and the corruption and wrongdoing that's going on. c-span: who owns rt? >> guest: rt as publicly funded so it's funded by the russian government. c-span: why did they do it, do you know? >> guest: you would have to ask them to read c-span: how did you get involved in it? >> guest: i was in moscow one summer. i have a lot of family that still lives in moscow. so i had been working there and had been introduced to rt at that point he was still in college, thinking of what i might do after i graduated and have always been interested in journalism and decided to in
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turn up the channel and just check it out. c-span: but where were you in college at the time? >> guest: i was going to uc santa cruz. i'm a banana slug, that is a school in northern california which has a very mellow hit the bible i guess you could say and really made me realize i lived in another world growing up when i came here to washington dc. i never realized i would be such an over crazy leftist until i moved here because i thought that was absolutely normal. but, so at that point, you know, in turn that rt. i was really interested in what they were doing, but all their offices were still in russia and i wasn't prepared to move back there. once i did graduate from the university they had already opened up offices here, so i decided to contact them, see if they're interested if the need people and from there it just kind of, you know, it all went through the usual route, e-mails, phone calls coming interviews and then it happened. c-span: what did you major in? >> guest: i majored in
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political science all the what santa cruz de like to be different they just call it politics. and i minored in film and digital media. c-span: you were born in moscow? >> guest: i was born in moscow and i moved to the states when i was four. c-span: you have kind of a famous mother? >> guest: i do have kind of a famous mother. that's right. she's a three-time olympic gold medalist. she was a pair skater and it's something that, you know, brings a lot of joy to my heart. of course it's something that i'm very proud of, but both of my parents are incredible people. my mother was a figure skater. she now is actively involved in politics in russia. she's now in the duma. my father is an entrepreneur. he was a trained architect but he's done everything from that designed to film production as well. so all in all they are both incredibly inspiring people that have, you know, helped me every step of the way to become who i am. c-span: so she's a part of the russian legislature? >> guest: she is now. she's part of the duma. c-span: how did you get to the
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states? what year did you come here and why? >> guest: we came here in 1990, and it's my mother at that point was done figure skating, but she was coaching. and so we moved to lake arrowhead, california, which is a tiny town in the mountains but where they happened to have an international training center where, you know, michelle kwan and people like that skated. carlos simcoach verso it was a small little milk in southern california where you just had an immense amount of talent, but i think that my father always wanted to move to the states. so there was obviously a decision i didn't have a part of. i was 4-years-old but i couldn't be happier that they made it. c-span: and how would you define your politics? you are an american citizen? >> guest: yes. c-span: and how would you define your politics? >> guest: i guess i would call myself liberal. and i have absolutely no problem saying that. and i and a registered democrat. i voted democratic in the last election, but i feel like the
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longer that i've been here in washington, the more disenchanted i am with the political system and with both parties and that something that we really try to do on the show, too, a step above the fray because i feel like there's such an effort in this country by politicians, by the media as well, to convince people that we are so polarized, that we're so different and we can never see ytoy. but there's so much that americans have in common with each other, but they are being distracted by you could say wedge issues, you know, things like abortion or gay marriage, which, i mean, both to me are incredibly important issues. to me, the marriage and gay rights are -- those -- that's like a civil rights fight of my generation if you could say. so they definitely are important issues, but i think that it's a way to divide people to try to distract them so they don't realize that there is -- this is becoming a corporate state, that both parties no longer work for the people but both republicans
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and democrats are slaves to a military industrial complex. their sleeves to wall street, slaves to corporations that really control everything and have such a strong and very expensive grass on it. c-span: if you live in washington, and i do in this area, you can watch russia today, rt, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, your program every night, 6:00, 10:00, one hour. is it hard to do a one-hour television show every day? >> guest: it's hard in the sense that, you know, there is some days when i don't want to be on tv. there are some days when you just don't feel like having to go on tv and put on a show for people and it's a lot of stress because no matter what happens, you come in that morning and you know that i have to fill an hour of tv and it has to start at 6 p.m. and there are ways around it. that's what happens when you do a live program is you just have to roll with the punches and see what happens. but i really love what i do. i love the team that i work with. and so we do come in excited
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every day thinking of what the material is that we're going to put together, what we're going to put out there. and, of course, you know, always hoping that the people are going to notice because we are doing it better than the other stations out there. c-span: what's watch you and a little comment on sarah palin. >> guest: let's do it. >> you know what i really love about this? posts on the cable networks talk about how sarah palin is such a huge distraction. but the real presidential candidates out there have such a money grubbing media. maybe they don't use those exact words, but i will. maybe the point is it is the weakest and chlamys excuse for analysis i've seen. here's an idea. you will have to cover her if you don't want to and then you can focus on those others oppose it real candidates, and i know, i know, it is somewhat ground-breaking logic upon you but give it a little time to sink in.
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but when you wake up from your sarah palin dream as a member of the economic crisis in this country is the recession, high unemployment, the demolished housing market. how about the fact that we are out of money? c-span: money grubbing media whore? >> guest: yeah, you have to get my falmouth ways out there didn't you? [laughter] c-span: what you hear that on american network? >> guest: no, i don't think you would. i will tell you where i think you hear that which is a place i draw inspiration from. i think you hear that from jon stewart and from steven colbert. i think those are the venue's people are really flocking to because you want somebody who has an edge to them to talk about the news. and especially if they are going to make fun of the news and how seriously they try to take themselves, then people, it's fine to be i think a little crass sometimes. satire goes a long way. like i said, which goes a long way, and i especially think that that's what younger people want. because it's no longer -- it's
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not the katie couric, and sorry but people occur did multimillion dollar contract to host the evening news but nobody gathers around the tv every night when their families anymore to watch the evening news. and if they do it's definitely not my generation. i think you can blame some of that on the fact this is a different world. we have dvr read everyone's lives are so much hectic and so much busier and you have the internet. you watch whenever it's convenient for you but i think people are also tired of it. let me go back to a point i was making earlier that i do feel like there is just a deliberate effort to drum television down for the audiences, and i don't think that that's what they want, and i think that they want to be spoken to like they are -- like they are a were the audience like they are on the same intellectual level as you. and that's why wit and satire is funny because they feel like they are being challenged as well as entertained and as well as they are learning something rather than just hearing it in this mind-boggling casey anthony
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go on and on and on. c-span: toole time. what is toole time and is that your name for it? >> guest: tool time. i have to admit i don't know if i'm going to get sued for this but i definitely watch -- what was the show with tim allen when i was a kid. i totally forgot about it now but they had a fake show called tool time, he and his partner, and so that name just kind of on the bell. we were trying to think of a segment that we could brand that we knew we could do every single day because there's always going to be someone new to make fun of because of the gaffe they made or the stance they took that was completely hypocritical. and so tool time has become the treasured favorite i think of "the alyona show" because it is really a moment we get to have fun and there's a lot of people out there that stick their foot in their mouth and thanks to the fact that everything is recorded these days you can always find a good clip of it, too. c-span: helmke niquette?
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>> guest: how long is the tool time segment of the show? and ferries that may be between two and a half to four minutes every day. c-span: you're is a minute of one of your tool time. >> guest: to give look at what we found today. for all of 2010 in the house there were only in session for 121 days. in the senate, 159 days. that's less than half the year. so far this year -- and by the way, this year will be half over to marlo -- the house has worked 75 days and the senate, only 76. where can i sign up for this job? you make about $175,000 a year, you'll become to the office have the time. to illustrate my point even more they were scheduled to be out session next week and go on recess for an entire month starting august 6 and the house of representatives have been off eight weeks already this year including this week. do you get eight weeks of vacation so far this year because i didn't. hauer in the hell was washington supposed to solve any problems when nobody works? that's why we haven't talked the
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budget in so long. that's why we are getting the 112th u.s. congress our tool time award for being absolutely useless. c-span: somewhat say that we are better off as a country if they are not in session. >> guest: and they would say that why? because they are just engaged in too much of politics? c-span: for spending too much money. >> guest: well, of course, spending money is their job and i'm definitely in agreement that congress spends a little too much money but as long as you are here and at least do something, the way they are really spending a lot of money is when they sit around and don't tax any legislation because it's all about grandstanding and refusing to compromise and pretended like you have serious principles but then you go through and have back door meetings and you maybe make some deals. there but then you go back out to the public and pretend like you are still standing your ground, whereas really you are making a deal that completely goes against, like i said, but
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those principles are. it's just so much back-and-forth and nothing is getting done in this country, and again i feel like a lot of that is an act. and that's when it really becomes a waste of money. it becomes completely unfair to americans because we voted these people into office. we voted for you to represent our interest and they are not doing that. they are not working all that long and whenever they are, maybe meet with a few constituents, but it's what they do here in washington that really matters because this is where the deals are made. this is where the legislation as written, signed and voted on. this is the center of power, and if they are just sitting around behind closed doors like i said collecting money from lobbyists and making these back and it deals then coming up and giving a lovely speech to the public pretended they are still on their side, you've got to call them out for it. c-span: you said earlier in our discussion that this show is really for younger people or at least you were -- you think about it. can i guess that your in your 20s? is that fair?
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>> guest: i leave and let you in on more of a secret. i25. c-span: are you the youngest person to a national television show? >> guest: you know, i don't even know. i've actually never looked into it. have you? c-span: know what i was just thinking. i mean, rachel matthau is only in her early 30's i believe but i don't know of anybody that is your age that had -- and you do give your opinions on purpose. i mean that's all part of the plan. >> guest: yeah it's all part of the plan. i don't pretend like a bushel is a straight hour of news by any means. it's called "the alyona show." it's a personality-centric show and its -- while i do feel that we are reporting on stories white i do offer is analysis. so it is my opinion of interjected and i don't ask that at all. c-span: go back to where you learned what you think. i mean, where did it start for you? when did you get active? >> guest: where i learned what i think. i think it's something that develops your whole life --
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>> guest: c-span: but when did it start to you think for you? >> guest: in terms of being politically engaged? c-span: we in the politically aware and who influenced you? >> guest: you know, i have to say that i traveled all my life thanks to my family. i have seen a lot of the world and since -- since a very early age and that's something -- c-span: give us an idea. >> guest: you know, i've may be visited 20 or so countries. when i was younger we were going all over europe. i've been to a million island countries. i've been to japan. i've been to brazil, argentina, -- c-span: is this because your mom was a skater? >> guest: both with my mother and traveling and with my father who loves travel and was always trying to open my eyes to the world. that first started affecting me. also i studied abroad and i lived in barcelona for four months while i was in university. i live in florence for four months. they're really starts to hit you when you see a different world out there. when you start talking to people
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when other countries and you realize their perceptions matter. you start to think of the way they really see your country, the way they start to see america. the way they see politics in general and the entire dynamics of the world. and so i think that that really wakes you up and makes you start to be curious about it. also, you know, from my generation -- i was 14-years-old on my 11. i was in boarding school and that was a really odd moment for me because even though i'd -- i wouldn't call myself someone who had been sheltered or naive. i didn't know what terrorism was. i had no idea. i didn't know what al qaeda or the taliban were and suddenly we are fighting words on behalf of this country to fight this giant threat. and i have grown up in this society where we are always at war and there's always this oppose it fear terrorism and i just don't think that it's right. i think that young people need to be shaken out of that because it's not -- it's not normal to
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be at constant war. that is not a way to conduct your affairs. that's not a way to try to be a world leader. and i think that there are a lot of people at my age that just haven't really known it to be any different. and so you need to start realizing that these things can change, then you need to stand up and you need to speak out against it and go out and protest and write your congress members and do whatever it takes, but this can stop. america doesn't have to be on this constant spiral where we are using our counterterrorism policies and strategies worldwide. c-span: russia today, rt, is seen around the world? >> guest: yes. c-span: is your program? >> guest: yes, it is. c-span: so in other words, when you do your program live at 6 o'clock the network around the world runs it? >> guest: mauney -- my program runs live from six to 7 p.m. and we repeat like you said at 10 p.m., and it's that 10 p.m. repeat that goes life. so for example in the woods on
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at 7:00 in the morning in moscow because that's where i have some family members. so they will call me. c-span: what do they do in moscow? to the transfer it? >> guest: know it's all in english. because it's meant for an international audience it's meant for the entire world to see. it's an english just the way, you know, the bbc or a al jazeera english is because that is the dominant language for now. c-span: where does rt have studios in the world? >> guest: we have a studio in washington, new york, miami, los angeles, we have our studio in moscow. there are a few small bureaus in georgia. in london we have a reporter as well and in ukraine i know that we have a reporter too and in india. c-span: where did -- >> guest: there might be if you that i missing tonight because there's also rt spanish and arabic. c-span: how much reaction to you personally get from doing this show? >> guest: from two? c-span: just around the world. how do you know anybody is watching?
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>> guest: that's a very good question because sometimes you start to wonder, right? you're wondering how many people are really watching. first of all we get a lot of reaction from people on line. a lot of our audience comes from youtube because of the fact that its broadcast worldwide and because it's much more convenient. a lot of people do indeed watch online. facebook, i get a million messages from people of the time that are from all over the world, and that makes me feel good because, you know, in one day i will get a message from somebody in india and somebody in australia and somebody in london. people contact us on twitter all the time so now we have a dialogue going constantly and we know there are other people better clue dan, that are plugged in to, i mean let's face it these days you have to constantly be plugged in and follow the news every second because it's developing every single second on twitter and you always have to be watching. our audience is too because they are always responded to it. c-span: what about reaction from
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people that watch it just say the washington area? if you are on cable here or you can get it over the air but most people get it on cable. you are on with my mother international networks, you know, channel 280 all the way it to, what is it -- no, it's 271. >> guest: we are to 74 but yes somewhere in that area there is a number of international networks. c-span: degette reaction hearing tom? >> guest: i get a lot of reaction in town. c-span: does anybody complain about your positions on things? >> guest: can you complain or do they? >> guest: c-span: i say today? yes. >> guest: well, sure. i mean it depends who it is and what they're -- the whole point is i bring them on my show so we can complain about my position on things we can have a good honest debate about it and maybe help each other for a few minutes and then see if anybody wins here but i think the fact that people want to come on our show is a testament to the fact that they are paying attention, they are interested and that we have members of congress like dennis kucinich comer representative keith ellison who was just on the show the other
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day, ron paul talks to our channel often. that to me is a testament to people in washington are starting to pay attention. like i said hillary clinton has mentioned, the broadcasting board of governors mentioned it. we are definitely on the radar here. c-span: you had a fellow on their named tom hardman? >> guest: he also does a program, yes. c-span: americans used to be an organ. he's now moved in this area i guess he's based here doing a show? >> guest: yes he does a show here. it amazes me how he fits into one day but he still does a radio show and also has a one-hour tv show. c-span: is it called cross talk with peter blundell? >> guest: he said moscow. c-span: of his american? >> guest: he is american. yes but i've never met him. i don't know much about him. c-span: what is the rest of the day on rt? what can people see? >> guest: it depends. where the bureau now is in washington, d.c. we are rt america. so we focus on u.s. politics, on domestic politics. and in moscow, that's rt
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international. and so, they switch off because moscow is running it 24 hours a day and our newscast here doesn't start until 4 p.m. and runs until 8:30 p.m., at which point after that my show and thom hartmann's shall repeat. you cannot just specifically in the evening but any other time you will see rt international. c-span: you're 25-years-old and you've now on this for two years. >> guest: will keep repeating it. c-span: the reason i do is how did they know -- had you on television before this? >> guest: no. c-span: how did they know the you could do this? how did a test you? ..
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she runs the entire operation. we also have live of soup runs our editorial side in washington d.c., but i can say that i have a lot of contact. >> a lot of women. >> a lot of women. >> allow the younger people. >> the entire channel has a lot of gender people on it, and that think they're ready smart in
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doing that. they brought in all of the people with fresh ideas that -- like asset to my know that my audience is not all young people , not really directing my show toward a younger audience. another is an older audience out there. you told me yourself that you want to show. >> if i watch it is not a young audience. >> so that is a pleasure, but the whole point is we're willing to step outside the box and try something different, figure out how to make tv news exciting and detaining and informative again rather than it, i'm sorry, but like i said, the garbage that really it has to a bill down to be. >> here is a more of your show. your talk about that. ♪ >> welcome 210 as fireside friday's with your hosts. >> president obama is meeting with world leaders in portugal discussing the war in afghanistan.
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a company of m-1 abrams tanks. these aren't just any things. so these things i've mistrusts is. the choices teeeight tons. and there are equipped with 30 year-old precision firepower. why an announcement, just the country like afghanistan, would you try to have big takes? what, if you're looking to military officials they will tell you it is simple. all, shock, and firepower, part of the campaign to show us are we there have been beefing a military operations and that the operational counterinsurgency, very conventional warfare, bombs and kill, shock and off. for it in our hearts and minds. c-span: you call that segment fireside fridays. what is that about? >> it is my chance every friday. i will take something.
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we may have been reported throughout the week. mario wants to wrap up or just something while want to take got a personal moment between myself and the audience without aghast, but i want to highlight an issue that i think is really passional and is supposed to be a little bit more of this warm, fuzzy setting. it's cheesy. we have a fake fireplace. c-span: that was fake? >> we have fun with it, and it is something that i think a lot about every week. i take my time writing it because it is something, like acid, that i feel passionate about. the war in afghanistan, if he was a program you know it's something that we cover cousinly. c-span: less to another clip on afghanistan. you refer to the soviets in there also. >> so just how long will this war last? obama's says he will start to production last year. will leave bolivia will to fulfill that promise? we are about to launch our large
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offensive, more than 100,000 troops which go by the way, as the largest. now my crystal is calling the offensive a process rather than operation. release though recognizing that it is not a quick in and out. don't you think that we should have realized that a long time ago in terms of some of this war as a whole? to we have up plan? maybe is of a white house and pentagon to realize that this is a lost war and we need to bring all of the troops home. c-span: how much of this is dictated to you from moscow? >> end of it. c-span: how much of this is something that we don't want -- you don't want to say you're told to say from your. >> benefit. what is the purpose?
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what does the kutcher of russia want to get out of this? >> let us say, i can't really answer that question on behalf of the entire country, but i do think that there is a vested interest for any country to be a will to show that there is not to this -- their does not need to be our hegemony when it comes to looking at the world, and there is not only a western viewpoint or only an eastern viewpoint. c-span: let me ask you, is it like voice in america? >> compared to voice in america, bbc. like is said, -- c-span: can the voice of america be seen in russia? listened to in russia? >> i think so. [laughter] i'm pretty sure it can't, but to be honest of no. c-span: how many folks to you needed washington to do the job? how was first on your show. how big is it? >> why show, we have about seven people that are full time staff
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in terms of we come in every morning, our editorial meeting. nobody did taste test. we come in and talk about what we saw the news to most or is this online. we check our favorite blocks, and then we decide what we think is going to be good and round out the show that day. we also have, of course, some great technical crew that such beefing up the numbers. overall i think there are about 65-70 people the workout of the bureau in d.c. now which is a big change. when i first started working there were seven of us still. c-span: under one umbrella is it? is that the overall umbrella organization? >> you know, and left it with all of those details in terms of what umbrella we are under there. moscow, we are in the same building, but moscow has a
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really big operation there. they're probably ten times bigger than we are. c-span: you said earlier that there is a network in russian and arabic. >> they have archie arabic and spanish. c-span: spanish. what languages do you speak? >> in english and russian. my spanish used to be good, but without practice it rarely has faded, which is embarrassing for me to admit because spanish roy epic california, is something a steady it in school, it's natural. barcelona to when i really took a liking to it. i just think that i need to practice again. c-span: where did you learn your russian? >> not in school. mrs. preschool i have been in school in the u.s. to misses conversationally to use begin with my family. c-span: how much time do use sending russia?
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>> i used to go back probably once or twice a year when i was as cool. we have brakes. a little easier when you have the cases. i have not been in almost two years unfortunately because of love to see my brother and my niece another arab drama, i find it harder and harder to do as they're working full-time. c-span: did your brother roy up here? >> eleven years old when we moved to the states. he lived in the u.s. for as much in years and the new pact. c-span: what does your mother interested in being a part of the lead such a? >> you're right to have test of that question itself. i knew my mother as an athlete and figure skater. one day she told me she's going into politics. c-span: what area-you represent? >> an area in siberia. c-span: we have been talking about your mother, and we do
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have a clip of you interviewing her. >> and hoover. c-span: before we go there, what are the circumstances? >> the olympics that were going on, my mother was there, and we thought it would be a great opporunity and fun opportunity and we were granted it to be allowed to fly me out there so that i can review my mom on the show. c-span: what is the name? [inaudible] >> i was born in russia and have to tell you, the olympic games will very special place in my heart because of a person that i am not joined with sitting next to me. 3 tons of the big figure skating champion and also i am very, very proud to say she is no other. they did for me yet. but state you. >> out see your impression of the ledger in sharon and cures of our the games.
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it's very did. the russian team is not so good. special figure skating. c-span: did you ever know your mother to be political? >> note. always a very opinionated woman bees did not hold back when she had something to say, but i never thought of her as anybody who was political. i think she's doing a great job. from the stories i here, the program that she developed that will be new teams for children and sports programs for orphans. at the she's doing a great job. c-span: ask your earlier where you think you got your own views. how much did that impact your growing up?
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>> i spoke -- i can send the mother and as smoke a lot of politics going up. there will tell you statistically and your ideology will resemble that of her parents, and i cannot necessarily say that is true for me with either my mother or my father. the father is more conservative than i am. sometimes we get in our own heated debate. i think it was my education, the people i was surrounded with living in california. there is a certain mentality still living in a state, and it really did influence the. c-span: uc santa cruz as of conservative. >> up by any means. c-span: what is the happy our segment? >> fairly new. we have been doing it for a couple of months now. we decided that it would be fun to round up the show. always serve as story said that are not worthy of an entire
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interviewer or discussion. then made be a little more playful and the law more fun. there are some people that you just like talking about that kind of stuff with. you think of a story that at the end of the day people go home -- are not come home from work, leave work, go to the bar, go to happy hour, and what to the want to share with their friends and discuss that does have some political implication in it, and that is where happy are really was born from. a little bit of unwinding permit the end of the day because people always tell me that amylum was serious because it will be a topic, likes of the what the war in afghanistan, with the presence of that day was as is this so wrapped up in. it says to let loose of the end of the hour and a little fun and laugh about it 54 years the clipper you're talking a little bit about quebec.
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-- the plane back. >> okay. it's time for happy hour, and joining me this evening, a senior communications strategist . you have your own alas. >> one or more. okay. such today is the end of an era. as a kidnap be more excited. let me show you go on talking about. >> hello, america. and tv and radio as blood and -- >> the strains it alliance between the left and the islamist, all part of the coming insurrection. >> the progressives want to do in the first place to mike elapses system and start all over again. >> tuna much money rupert murdoch, he has all these things going on. the you think he will let the guy at 5:00 say about this
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stuff, but this together, it's completely wrong and still never? >> that is exactly what i think. come out there and say a bunch of things that are completely wrong and stay on the network. he said a planning is back in the nixon days. you as happy to see glen beck go as i am? you satisfied? c-span: glen beck. >> a special place in my heart. c-span: why is that? >> believe me. a lot of material. no i don't even talk about him anymore because not only has this profile ended on fox news, but his influence has faded. zero while kaytoo was doing. his ratings were high, and did he tell us what this man this is what is wrong, to be, is this is just one factor of what is wrong with u.s. media.
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the foxes model and then there is everybody else's. what they've managed to do is with people into a frenzy. they work on fear and paranoia, and you have a man like glen r onsed and probablyi do think the key is telling you news with the is acting like this weird, you know, televangelist telling you at all times there is a conspiracy to take the world's income and whether it be the liberals working with the communist banner all sorts of what the muslim television. it is such nonsense. he really scares people and influence people. iraq is believed to command was year when the ad is restoring honor rally on the mall. i just had this for the overwhelming feeling. it almost brought tears to my eyes because there were so many people coming year, and i cannot believe that so many people are inspired by this man that just want to the scare them and pedal
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he is an actor. he is an actor, and people believe in what it is that he is trying to sell, and it is ludicrous to me, and that is why i think people like glen beck need to be criticized. c-span: speaking of factors, let's watch of the but if you. >> you know, we are in trouble. we are in trouble because of big read it begins china is keeping an engine toward us. i can feel it in my bones and so you that it is out phil right. ises of phil right that america's power, our sovereignty is being threatened by the east, when the dragon that is waiting to read the -- brief fire on the world. they say they're of the people's republic. the people's republic. un that both know that means communist. c-span: what are you doing?
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>> that was last halloween. recited, it's halloween. one address seven to the entire show as somebody else. for a second of the sarah palin might have come to mind and then we decided, no, it has to be glen beck. that was probably the most exacting hour of my life. i was telling your staff report because it is wanted to go on tv and be myself and it is another to go on tv and just act like somebody else. that took a lot of energy, i have to admit. like us say, i did not even bother revisiting that for the end of the rain after one at fox news because at that point i already felt like his influence had died down and good. c-span: a little bit more of you doing this. >> the rally this weekend. i know many people fail to see it for what it really is. came here to stand up until you, viewers, the truth about it.
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this is nothing but a serious ploy, a frightening ploy to get those are too stupid to think for themselves ... tourist to the altar to sacrifice. left their way to the booth thinking about all the poor fools to you and me. don't be taken advantage of. they're following the man who is nothing more than a political cartoon. agassi will end this by saying that benjamin franklin, who actually brought us the very first political cartoon, would be leaping if he saw the choppy -- the atrocity on the wall this -- call this weekend. c-span: why you think he was so successful? >> glen beck? i think that there is a void right now that needs to be filled when it comes to television, news, and media and information. people i so hungry for it. there are obviously a lot of fears that are very easy to play upon, be it ziff -- it --
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xenophobia with immigration or, of course, when it comes to his love phobia as well because of september 11th and all the uncertainty with the economy. i do think that people want someone that they can relate to, listen to, and, like i said, i think he pulls the right strings and learn how to play upon those fears, and that is one model that is successful call whereas the rest of the media, you see the they're struggling. cnn is changing their lineup and trying new shows left and right. none of that is working for them. like us said, you have the other networks hiring people like you couric and paying them millions and firing of the people because of it, and that is failing for them. that is because there's other avoidances that regular mainstream news is the news anymore and you don't learn anything from a. if you want to learn something, go online and you can read all of the facts and details and be
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an actual liz figueroa said or some type of block. other than that, is just boring because is mindless. they you have fox is was csn sober people up and play upon their motions. that is where my show is trying to really find a new niche for people. like us says, that i think that's steven colbert menaced. they want a logical argument. they don't need to be scared all the time. they know what is going on, but they want to see funny, a sarcastic. they want you to talk to them about issues that matter to people these days. the cold war is long over. for my generation, that does not matter. we're not afraid of communism. it's like being afraid of the fact that we have this massive security state, intelligence state that is growing that is cousinly under surveillance. privacy is something that i think is incredibly important
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for my generation, for any generation, but as long as we carry on into the future because technology plays such a lot -- large role in our lives and that is why it is interesting to watch the developments in much of things they protect ip at blocked. i don't speak with people like julie sanchez from the cato is it because these are people that specializing in the set of privacy and security information that is affecting all of us, and we have no idea. the things that our legislators don't know what they're writing laws about, it began is even too complex for them to understand, which is even scarier. c-span: you have been very strong u.s. and you are an american. you work for russian television network, but your mom is in as a month. did she ever americanize? to see the crisis in? >> so, she did not. c-span: how did you as you look back -- you know what a lot of the publicity that the country
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is less open than it used to be in all that. how do you track all of this? i you first and foremost an american through and through, a believer in american democracy or do you is that we did so of the things they did in russia? >> i am an american thread through. of course i believe in american democracy. this is where i grew up. this is what i know, which is why i it takes such a vested interest in talking about the problems and bringing them up so that we can address them and make the country better. and what i do on my show is i don't criticize the politics of other countries and will might be going on there because i focus on america. russia, to me, is a place that have an emotional connection with because that is where, like i said, was born, still have family. politically minded i look at the u.s. and how we interact with the west of the world.
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c-span: i heard you the other night say the "washington post," oh, how that might the newspaper has fallen. what did you say that? >> because it has fallen. the "washington post" and the new york times, you can say, considered by many people to be the premier journalists organization in the century. but we have seen not only massive layoffs and a massive shrinking of states, especially if you go with the times, we have also seen the "washington post" be embroiled in the scandal would you figure out is all money-making scheme. that is specifically -- i can run basically what it was. i think he was michele obama's berger vitiate and how many calories it had. you have got to be kidding me. you have got to be kidding me that is the top news of the day. and i feel like if you're going to pretend to be them by the newspaper in this nation, then you better cover -- unhappy that these newspapers work.
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the way the new york times has turned against it and yet they keep breaking stories based on the operation that has been leaked by wikileaks and play this very cozy game with a government as well where they will withhold information if the government asks them to. i think all of that has to make use of questioning here they're really working for, a government watchdog or lapdog. c-span: you can watch everything you do on artie. >> yes. c-span: meaning the internet. but also, an aggressive pace that they make. they want people in the media to use their stuff, their clips and all. do you find people using it around the country? >> yes. i don't know how aggressive their pages. c-span: we hear it on the air. i picked it up. they encourage you to go to your website and use the material. >> why not have as many people
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put their eyes on it and actually see and hear and feel it as possible? >> that michele and network promo. only 46 seconds to see the kind of thing that you tell their audience. ♪ us not forget that we had representative by the neck. ♪ >> i think barack obama is beatable in 2012. >> we never -- whenever government says there will keep you safe to me get ready because you're going to lose your freedoms.
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c-span: we never said so your opinion. that is what is said. >> s. wright. i cannot tell you i have never censored an opinion on the show. i have brought a guest on the line i will debate and sell them to get the crap. but i don't censer in opinion. c-span: the spelling, alyona minkovski, if you were in russia how would that be pronounced? >> alyona minkovski. so rather than -- for some reason his sons really rude to my name -- my years. i have made a silent. c-span: i have a 302nd promo for you and your show. what do you think about being a personality? out as that feel to you? >> now that i feel that i've learned to grow and to being a personality to embrace it, i really love it and feel confident because i do think
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that i have something to offer. there is a reason people want to watch the show. but the first call believe me, i was scared. hard, especially when you are 23 years old to figure out what to check your personality is that you will be putting on tv every day. c-span: here is your promo. ♪ ♪ c-span: el long did it take he did do that? >> we had a crewcut and from what -- moscow with their fancy red camera, and really only had a couple of hours because i was
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also working ellis show. to not take a whole of time. always funny. ask anyone the work with and they know that i work a plan upon it all the time. while a sickly pleasing and beautiful, and looks ii just walked in and say, led to the show. that is is a personal thing. c-span: where do you think you will be engineers? >> that is a good question. i don't know. elsie where life takes me in this career takes me. i was never sure whether this was something i wanted to do. journalism side spoke to because i never watched tv myself either. i never watch tv news. suddenly when i was torn into it , t